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Out & About with Katherine: Spring is finally upon us

Katherine Scoggins • Apr 14, 2018 at 4:30 PM


“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

I so enjoyed taking part in the recent Easter festivities! Perhaps because spring is near, and that is why I love Easter, or maybe it’s because I regard Easter as a second chance. The earth is filled with amazing color with flowers, butterflies, birds and all manner of dyed and decorated eggs, hidden for little hands to find. When my brother and I were very young, Dad took us to Ward’s Feed Store on a Saturday near Easter to see the baby chicks and ducklings. The ducklings had their own little pool, and we watched as they paddled around and scampered up on the “banks” then re-entered the pool and swam around enjoying all the attention we were giving them. We would also feed the baby chicks, often pausing to gently pet them. They were so soft and small. When I read about Ward’s closing several years ago, I felt sad when I realized that young children would no longer have that experience.

As I am a bit older now, I enjoy slightly more sophisticated festivities, such as the glorious “Requiem” by John Rutter that was performed on Good Friday at First Broad Street United Methodist Church, complete with a full adult choir, organ, harp, timpani and glockenspiel. Such a beautiful, majestic piece to celebrate Easter. But perhaps the best part of the evening were the new faces I saw in the sanctuary. Individuals, couples and families, many with small children, joined with church members as they sang, prayed and worshipped together. Those of you who were visiting, thank you for coming and please come back again very soon!

Our speaker at April’s Kingsport Historical Society Meeting was Calvin Sneed, who presented a fascinating history of the African-American people in Kingsport. Many of you probably read his articles in this very paper during February (Black History Month). Calvin and I had taken Algebra together in Isaac Nidiffer’s class at Dobyns-Bennett. That alone served as a bond between us for years! Every so often I am reminded how very fortunate I was to have such wonderful teachers over the years! The late Alex Anderson, who served as president of the Kingsport Historical Society, was missed terribly at this meeting. He was such an intelligent and enthusiastic student of history, especially Kingsport’s. There was a good group in attendance: Edwina Anderson, Alex Looney, Carolyn Kingdon, Betty Iverson, Mack Patton, Horace Hall, Brianne Wright, Tim Mullens, Jane Scott, Charles Webb, Jack Pierce and George Webb. Our next meeting is the first Monday in May at 10 a.m. in the Eastman Room at the Chamber of Commerce. The speaker, from the Gray Fossil Site, will highlight “Mastodons.” Please come and join us!

Troop 263 celebrated its 25th anniversary during Girl Scout Week in March. Invited were Scouts and former assistant leaders. One of those Scouts, Mary Fanslow, was recognized for her outstanding leadership over the years. If you think Girl Scouts is primarily hiking, camping and cookies, read on for other activities Girl Scouts have been involved in over recent years.

“I think Troop 263 conservatively has seen 300 girls participate in the last 25 years,” Mary said. “I’ve been involved with the troop about 23 or 24 years. For the last 20 years, St. Dominic Catholic Church has graciously allowed us to use their facilities. Some of the older girls have participated as hostesses at the Hammond House Fun Fest Open House and at the Victorian Christmas. For many years, the troop has often provided table decorations for the Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club semiannual dinners. They were involved with building and installing the original bluebird houses under the tutelage of Zellie Earnest on parts of the Green Belt and also monitored the houses for a few seasons.

“Over the years,” she continued, “we have made many visits to area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We have helped with Keep Kingsport Beautiful's Green Belt cleanup several times, and we have done service work at Bays Mountain Park, Roan Mountain State Park (helping lead nature rally activities for kids), Natural Tunnel State Park and have participated several times in Warriors Path State Park activities (planting seedlings and participating in the nature rallies). We’ve gone on many overnight trips (Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Washington D.C., Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and so forth). A few of the older girls, moms and I went on an international trip to Pax Lodge in London about five years ago (Pax Lodge is one of the four permanent Girl Scout/Girl Guide international centers). And of course we participate in cookie sales and Council/Service unit events (the International Teas, Earth Day, etc.).”

Troop 263 currently has about 25 girls, Daisies through Seniors. Several mothers currently lead activities and do the planning. “They and their daughters deserve the credit for all that Troop 263 is,” Mary said who was herself a Girl Scout in Kingsport under the tutelage of Ann Young.

Looking ahead? Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 5, the season opening of the Netherland Inn. This marks the 200th anniversary commemorating Richard Netherland’s purchase of the Inn and several events are planned throughout the day.

Have kids who are looking for something fun and creative to do this summer? Visit Kingsport Theatre's Guild's website and see what opportunities await you! Theatre Camp and Student Film Camp will be held at the Renaissance Center beginning in June. Call (423) 392-8427 or visit Kingsporttheatre.org. Final productions of the season are almost here, including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” which opens this weekend.

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. To share photos from a community event, add an event to our calendar or invite Katherine to attend, email us at commun[email protected]

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